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Which is the best way to go?


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#1 MJ98

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 07:55 AM

Hi all,

I'm going to be snorkelling and hopefully diving on the Great Barrier Reef next year and had a question.

I am on a budget and considering these:

1. My EOS 600D with a cheap housing (example: http://www.ebay.co.u...a-/360619529436) - £200-£250.
2. An underwater compact that goes around 15m - £200-250
3. An underwater compact plus a housing to go deeper - £500

I'd prefer to go for the cheaper options but my problem is this:

- If I go deeper, I assume I need strobes for options 1 and 3 which adds another £200-300
- Will I miss a lot if I don't go deeper, or will I see plenty up to 15m? I just don't want to miss something based on the depth of photos I can take (for example if I went shark diving).
- At 10-15m with option 2, would I need a strobe or would the light be bright enough?

Also if you have any input on my compact choices, I am considering the Olympus TG-2 (maybe TG-3 depending on reviews), the Lumix FT5 (will there be an FT-6 soon?) and the Pentax WG-3.

I don't care about photos on land at all from the compacts so if anyone has experience with the 3 I'm looking for the best light, colour and sharpness underwater, allowing good photos as deep as possible.

Thanks for any enlightenment, I am a novice to this and would like to try it out and experience the best that I can on a budget.

Martyn
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#2 Ammar

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 01:28 PM

Well Martyn since you already have the 600D, my first thought would be to get the housing for it since you are familiar with the camera. However, the ebay housing you listed does not show which lens it supports and whether you can use other lenses with it which mean purchasing another port/ports assuming the housing supports other ports. You need to ask the seller about this important issue.

 

In addition, you will need tray and handles for the housing to properly hold it and operate it as well as arms and joints to mount the strobe/s should you decide to get ones. These extras alone will take more than £500 from your budget especially if you go with the strobes option.

 

As you know water starts to absorb colors with depth, especially red after 5 meters. Therefore, while there will be sufficient light let's say down to 10 meters, the problem will be with colors loss which you can only revive by using strobes. Other than blue dives, you'll see the best of marine life within the 18 meter depth limit, basically where there is light.

 

Since you plan to dive along snorkeling, I'd recommend getting a camera and underwater housing having diving in mind as you don't want to miss those great moments underwater when you go diving. Therefore, I'd say eliminate option 2.

 

Unfortunately I don't have any knowledge about the compact cameras you listed.


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#3 MJ98

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 04:24 PM

Hi Ammar,

Thanks for your suggestions. I think I have been swayed towards sticking with my Canon as I think the image quality will be far superior if set up correctly.

I have since looked at budget Meikon and Polaroid housings which take the standard 18-55m lens only. I feel as I am more trying this out I would be okay to do this in order to save money. So now I just have to get one of those housings, a strobe and then the mounting, handles etc for using it properly.

One thing I haven't looked in to yet is, are strobes generally universal? By this I mean, you just need to make sure the strobe has the the right connections and then any should work with my camera?

Thanks
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#4 Ammar

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:59 AM

Yes most if not all strobes work with all cameras with proper cable connection. Since the 600D has a flash, you'll only want to make sure that the housing accommodates the cam flash and has fiber optics cable inputs to connect the cam with the strobes. 



#5 jmauricio

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 05:47 AM

if you are snorkeling (primarily) with occasional dives. I would really consider NOT buying that housing for your canon. Instead buy a compact (used you can get cheaper) with a wide angle lens.

 

Remember the number one rule for underwater photography. Get Close. A wide angle lens will let you get close to your subjects and get it all in the image. You can also shoot WA more easily with available light. Something you cannot do easily, if at all, with Macro or "normal" focal lengths

 

I think if you look for a wide angle compact system, you will have a lot of fun and will get more images that you will be happy with.

 

Although your canon has better quality than a compact, it will not take great photos with a normal lens (even at 18mm behind a flat port) with a lot of distance between  you and the subject. Also, you can get spectacular photos with a compact, they are very capable today.

 

also a compact camera will be easier to snorkel/dive with if you aren't used to it.

 

A quick search in the classifieds showed this guys is selling something that would suit you very well (no affiliation)

 

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=53123

 

In my opinion, i would highly consider something like this.



#6 Overexposed Seahorse

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:59 AM

You will want a strobe. In my opinion, I would rather have a cheaper camera and a strobe than a more expensive camera and no strobe. I think that the greatest improvement in underwater photos comes when you add a strobe for the first time. Otherwise, I couldn't agree more with what Jmauricio says!



#7 Ram

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 04:43 PM

Hi, I just got an Equinox housing for the EOS 600D. Other circumstances are forcing me to sell it. Never used, it has the bulkhead for strobe if you want, and some extra brackets for attaching video or strobe arms. The whole thing cost me 1200 US and I am willing to let it go for $850. I think it would be perfect for your situation, this way you keep an amazing DSLR in a great housing which you can add up other toys in future. I placed a topic with pictures in the for sale portion of this site.

 

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=53517


Edited by Ram, 30 June 2014 - 04:52 PM.